Director of Development

Fernwood Botanical Garden
Michigan, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jul 7, 2022

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Annual Fund, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising, Special Events
Animal Protection, Environment, Museum, Other Fields, Youth
Employment Type
Full Time

KEES has been exclusively retained by Fernwood Botanical Garden in its search for a Director of Development.


Comprised of 105 acres of gardens and natural areas, Fernwood Botanical Garden is a special property situated on the beautiful St. Joseph River in southwest Michigan.  Only minutes from South Bend and the University of Notre Dame and just 90 minutes from Chicago, Fernwood has been a popular destination for more than 55 years. Fernwood is poised for significant growth over the next decade with a Master Plan that encompasses not only the garden but its philanthropic landscape as well.


The Director of Development (DOD) will play an integral role in raising capital to execute the goals of the Master Plan. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to cultivate and expand on a dynamic development program to assist Fernwood in reaching its envisioned potential with the full support and encouragement of the Board and Executive Director.  The DOD will identify, renew, and strengthen key relationships for Fernwood within the community and explore and present compelling opportunities for interested individuals, foundations, and corporations to support the organization’s mission and subsequent outcomes. As the sole development professional for Fernwood, the DOD will have a strong understanding of all elements of the development pipeline and will have the freedom to both create and implement their ideas.


Some specific requirements include:

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in fundraising, public relations, leadership, and marketing, with the ability to work collaboratively in small teams.
  • Proven ability to build strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders and leverage those relationships for partnership and fundraising opportunities.
  • Familiarity with donor tracking systems, such as Blackbaud’s CRM product suite.
  • Ability to engage with diverse audiences.
  • Established track record of increasing revenue through diverse fundraising streams, e.g., individual giving, grants, corporate partnerships, planned giving, etc.
  • Knowledge of and connections to funding communities in Michigan’s Berrien, County and South Bend is desirable.


Compensation will be determined based on experience and skills. Full-time employees are eligible for health, and dental insurance, generous PTO, sick days, select holidays, a 401(k) plan, and professional development.


Fernwood is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. 


For Additional Information, and TO APPLY, Visit:


KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams and dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public entity sectors. A woman owned and operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and HR support. For more information, please visit


Fernwood Botanical Garden’s mission is to enrich people's lives by awakening and deepening their appreciation of nature.  The gardens, just 90 minutes from Chicago’s downtown, are located in Berrien County Michigan, which is famous for its fruit production, wine country, and lakeshore communities.  Fernwood comprises 105 acres of gardens and natural areas and is a birder’s paradise. The property features at least 10 unique ecosystems and 36 plant species that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has deemed threatened, endangered, and plants of special concern. Visitors may enjoy Fernwood’s natural areas with miles of walking and hiking trails, garden paths that wind throughout special botanical collections, and a visit to the Sims Education Center for drop-in educational features and a bird viewing area at the wooded edge of the preserve.  To learn more, please visit


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